GOT ME/LOST ME – June 24, 2011


I did it! I got this out on Monday! It’s about time! Now to stay true to it…

Quick reminder: I will be live-tweeting my first ever viewing of Gone With the Wind this Thursday at 9:30 PM EST as the first rendition of MCT Live. While the 233-minute-long movie may be a chore to sit through (so I’ve been told by some, anyway), with your help this can be a fun and long-living GTTM feature in the making. If you can’t make it, no worries – the full list of tweets will be posted the next day right here on “Meier! in a Crowded Theater” for your reading pleasure.

Now, on to the last week of June with a new (and timely!) edition of GOT ME/LOST ME.

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Cars 2

starring the voices of Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, and Emily Mortimer. Directed by John Lasseter and Brad Lewis. Rated G.

It’s a widely known fact that Disney•Pixar doesn’t make bad movies, so I suppose it’s a testament to what a snob I am to refuse to see one in the theater. I saw this sequel’s predecessor in the cinema – I gave it a chance – but to me (I realize I’m mostly alone here), there’s something entirely off-putting and frankly disturbing about an automobile with a living, breathing face, let alone a whole world of them. I know, I know – it’s entertainment for small children, and I’m reading too much into the premise. Well, here’s my reply: So are clowns, and so do people with a (don’t get me wrong – perfectly understandable) fear of them (At least I can breathe a sigh of relief that the subject of my disliking is a far more false existence).

I think my discomfort with the characters of the Cars movies (and other living vehicular organisms like Thomas the Tank Engine) mostly stems from anatomical questions that so far haven’t been answered (like what are their eyeballs like? Eye-panes? Yikes). I also don’t fully grasp a lot of details with the story… Their sport of auto-racing is pretty much the equivalent of foot-races for us, right? Would it really reach such popularity as opposed to, say, UFC-like demolition derbies? Speaking of which, as fragile as vehicles are, how long is the standard life expectancy for… I should stop before this gets too long.

This sequel’s approach is a bit of a departure from the original’s self-discovery tale; it’s an action-spy send-up – they naturally had to get Caine as a voice. And what would this NASCAR-lover-magnet-saga’s entry be without the Cable Guy’s Mater (y’know, other than “better”)? As beautiful and colorful as it may be, I’ll just stick with every other Disney•Pixar flick, TYVM.

LOST ME

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Bad Teacher

starring Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake, and Lucy Punch. Directed by Jake Kasdan. Rated R.

So it’s like Bad Santa (not the same people – director Kasdan frequently works with Judd Apatow; both together wrote Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) but this time with a more necessary and impactful profession and a different gender for the title rule-breaker. I smell double-entendre jokes with the word “period” on the horizon…

The outcome of the plot looks easily predictable, but if all you want to do is laugh and throw class out the window for a little while (in the long tradition of summer comedies and their audiences), you probably don’t desire a very fresh plot to begin with. I don’t expect this film to be as huge a surprise hit as the still-in-theaters Bridesmaids, but I do expect a mostly positive reaction.

GOT ME

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A Better Life

starring Demián Bichir, José Julián, Eddie ‘Piolin’ Sotelo, and Joaquín Cosio. Directed by Chris Weitz. Rated PG-13.

I have read that this plot is a re-hashing of a classic film called The Bicycle Thief. Fortunately for Weitz, I’ve never seen it. This survival story of a hard-working Latino gardener in East Los Angeles and his impressionable son appears to be just the redeeming project Weitz needs to display after the disaster (yes, DISASTER) that was The Twilight Saga: New Moon. As the trailer for this goes along with, we need to see more of the guy that gave us the shockingly good About a Boy.

GOT ME

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Leap Year

starring Monica del Carmen, Gustavo Sánchez Parra, Armando Hernández, and Diego Chas. Directed by Michael Rowe. Rated R.

If the trailer is correct with its implications, this film that has the bad luck of sharing a title and original year of release with a throwaway Amy Adams rom-com is primarily filled with dark-lit “steamy” sex and suicidal anguish. One critic apparently calls it comparable to Last Tango in Paris. This leads me to reply with the same response I found myself saying aloud while trying to sit down and watch Last Tango in Paris

Spare me.

LOST ME

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Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop

starring Conan O’Brien, Andy Richter, Richie ‘La Bamba’ Rosenberg, and Jim Carrey. Directed by Rodman Flender. Not rated.

I used to be all about the comedy of “Coco,” even immediately siding with his disapproval of the whole “Tonight Show” midnight-shuffle dilemma when he released his first letter. I felt for the guy and understood his frustration with NBC’s lousy incompetence – which is why I predict this documentary of his contractually agreed upon time away will be tough and bittersweet to watch toward the beginning. When the doc reaches his touring stage shows is where my interest may wane. O’Brien’s cynical humor is much more rewarding than his vengeful humor; the latter often includes subjecting himself to applause-whoredom for some snide and unnecessary comment whereas the former – much like Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” – can express a relief that higher-ups can smell something rotten in Denmark too.

I will ultimately want to see this but not as urgently as I could have. These days I see O’Brien as the personification of a typical old school Saturday morning cartoon – he perfectly plays to those who still love him and keeps those who have outgrown his antics admirably smiling. One also has to admire how this doc of the live shows is releasing just a few months after the egomaniacal Charlie Sheen tried and tremendously failed at the same idea.

GOT ME

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Return next Monday or Tuesday (I always shoot for Monday) for the GM/LM for July 1st, 2011 which will include Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks and Transformers: Dark of the Moon with Shia LeBeouf. If you routinely visit Twitter (MCT Live!), feel free to follow @MEIER_in_a_CT (for MCT Live!!) along with @gttmovies for the complete and utter chaos that is movie-tracking (and MCT Live!!!).

One Response to “GOT ME/LOST ME – June 24, 2011”

  1. Chris Meier says:

    Ever since writing about ‘Cars 2’ here, I’ve been trying to think of living cars with faces in movies, TV, etc. that don’t actually bug me the way Disney-Pixar’s creations do. Benny the Cab from ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ might be an exception, although his glowing headlight eyes have parallels to the film’s villain (spoiler?). I’d feel really uncomfortable pulling his lever too (especially if he screamed at me to do so).

    The best non-disturbing faced cars I can think of are the ones from Aardman animation (‘Wallace & Gromit’) in what I think were commercials for Chevron. It helped that they were sitting still and speaking in a gentle manner.

    And to clear up any confusion, I have no problem with living cars without faces such as KIT from “Knight Rider” and Bumblebee from ‘Transformers’ (while he’s in car form). They seem more focused with their existence and tasks and therefore cool in a way that’s as if they’re not trying to be.

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